This holiday season you can help shelter pets! You’ll love it.

Photo Courtesy of Cindy Staszak

Why not start a holiday tradition and share the joy of the season with your local animal rescue group? It’s the perfect time of year for pet lovers to give back to the animals. This holiday season, there are more dogs than ever in need of help.

You can foster, volunteer, adopt, or donate skills, equipment or money. You'll not only provide a much-needed service to our community, but it will fill your heart to overflowing. That’s a promise. Your local 501c3 rescue groups-- often shelters of last resort, need help. Volunteering and working with animals is a great learning opportunity for the kids.

Six-month old “miracle puppy”, Daniel, American Humane Society’s Emerging Hero Dog Award winner, survived seventeen minutes in an Alabama euthanasia gas chamber and became the new “poster puppy” for dog adoption. An estimated seven million animals are brought to shelters every year, and ½ of those are euthanized due to overcrowding.

Please visit, the #1 facilitator for 13,772 animal shelters and rescue groups across North America.

You can search for any breed or animal welfare group by zip code. Today, more than 25% of dogs in rescues are purebreds. For example, you can find 31 breeds to choose from that start with the letter “B” including, Bedlington Terriers, Borzoi, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bull Terriers et al. has hundreds of thousands of beautiful adoptable dogs at this very moment.

"Daniel". Survived 17 minutes in a euthanasia gas chamber. American Humane Association Emerging Hero Dog Award Winner.

The Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) has one of the world’s most successful holiday pet adoption drives. In California alone they partner with 262 shelters They also provide free 3-day seminars that teach animal lovers and shelter workers more effective ways to increase adoptions and lower euthanasia.

Dogs are often relinquished, orphaned and abandoned when pet parents find their dog’s behavior unacceptable simply because of insufficient socialization or basic training. Non-aversive training for every dog at the earliest possible time avoids problems. Positive Reinforcement, force-free dog training is effective, safe, fast and truly dog-friendly.

There are good dogs languishing in shelters and there are great dogs languishing in shelters. Help make adoption a first-choice in your community.

Linda Michaels, “Dog Psychologist” M.A. and Victoria Stilwell-licensed Del Mar dog trainer  and speaker, can be reached at (858) 259-9663 or email: [email protected]  for private obedience instruction and behavioral consultations near Del Mar and up the SoCal Coastline. Visit us at   All rights reserved.

Originally published UT San Diego, Scratch ‘n Sniff. Chris Ross, Editor.

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Positively Expert: Linda Michaels, MA

Linda Michaels is a VSPDT trainer, dog training columnist, and owner of Dog Psychologist On Call in Del Mar, CA. Linda holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology with research experience in Behavioral Neurobiology. She is a Behavioral Advisor for the Wolf Education Project (WEP) in Julian, CA and Art for Barks in Rancho Santa Fe, CA.


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